How to Clean Your Home...FAST

Posted by The Naked Redhead

As you know, I love a clean home.  But like anyone else, there are times when cleanliness falls by the wayside.  Of course, right at that moment, I always have a friend call and say, "Hey!  I'm just up the road and wanted to pop in and say hi!"  Excellent.  At this point, I begin running around like a crazy person, trying to throw things in order.  Here are some rules I live by to get a clean home, fast.

1.  Touch it once--I learned my cleaning skills from my very practical mother who had several mantras, one of which was, "touch it once!"  What she meant was, "be efficient."  Don't pick up a pair of shoes and get distracted by a dog toy.  Don't do half the dishes then move to that pile of laundry.  Multi-tasking when you're cleaning just gives you a messier home.  If you touch something that needs putting away, put it away immediately.

2.  Make a mental list of "musts"--What are absolutely the most important things that need to be done?  Do you need to scoop the litter pan?  Put shoes away?  Pick up dog toys?  These "musts" should be small, but should also be things that you know you'd be embarrassed to leave undone. 

3.  Lipstick a pig (aka "Fake It")--This tip is my favorite and it's one I use ALL the time.  A quick pick-up and wiping down of fixtures in the kitchen (no water spots!) can make it look like you just cleaned yesterday, but that you simply haven't gotten to the dishes yet.  Or, a made bed can make any messy bedroom look ten times more put together. 

4.  If all else fails, clean the bathroom--If you only have a few minutes, forget everything else and hit this room.  Clorox makes pretty boxes for their wipes now, so keep them out on your counter and quickly swipe down surfaces.  Throw wet towels and dirty clothes in a hamper, close the shower curtain, do a fast sweep or vacuum of the floor, put out a fresh hand towel, light a candle, and voila, everyone will THINK you're clean, regardless of the state of the rest of your home. 

5.  Laugh it off--Well, sometimes, cleaning is just a big FAIL.  Don't be too hard on yourself, just laugh it off.  Tell the friend who popped in, "Look what I did for you!", point to your messiness, then dismiss it with a wave.  If you're anxious about it, your guests will be anxious about it, too.  EVERYONE has a messy place now and don't sweat it, and enjoy the company.  In fifty years, you won't remember that sock on the floor anyway.

How do you clean quickly?


Anonymous said...

I worked as a cleaner during my undergrad years to support myself and it taught me so much about keeping what looks like a clean house. :-P

My go-to routine for cleaning emergencies are to put the trash out, open windows to air the place out, stack dirty dishes into the sink, quickly wipe down the surfaces and sweep the floor. It only takes fifteen minutes but it works wonders.

If you have five minutes, just get rid of anything smelly and sweep the floor.

{Tara} said...

Awesome tips! If all else fails, I make sure the living room is clean [first room people see...] and then I make sure the toilet and cat box are clean ;)I am also a clean-freak, but try not to be too anal about it!

Eternal*Voyageur @ Venusian*Glow said...

Light a natural incense.
No air-fresheners please. Nothing says "my house stinks" so loud as the air-freshener smell. Besides, they're really toxic.

dubiousMa said...

Make sure only the rooms they will be in are clean. Living room and bathroom. But if they didn't call first, they ain't gettin' in anyway!

Eyeliah said...

how did you know I'm about to have people over and I am sweating it lol! Those wipes look pretty handy.... ;-) I also agree with #1. and I recommend blasting some upbeat music to sing along to and also gets me moving faster.

Lara said...

Great tips! I love #1! So true!

I like to clean as I go. If I'm cooking and something can be left alone for a while, I will start cleaning up and washing my prep dishes. I also always wipe down the sink faucets after I'm done in the bathroom or washing dishes.

If you're a sofa snacker, it's good to take things like empty glasses and trash back into the kitchen when making a trip to the bathroom or going back for seconds.

Every morning, I do a quick attack through the apartment and collect anything that got left behind on the coffee table or bedside. Coming home to a tidy house is always refreshing. Leaving dishes in the sink overnight drives me crazy.

Taking your shoes off when you come in and just wearing a designated pair of flip flops around the house helps keep dirty floors under control.

Having a place for everything helps. My purse always goes on my closet doorknob and I got 2 double hooks from Lowes for $2.50 for the hallway now that cold weather is here to hang my jacket up as soon as I come inside.

Heidi Rose said...

Excellent tips. The "clean the bathroom" one was my favorite. Everyone will think that because your bathroom is clean, that the rest of the house is? That's magic right there.

Ikraam said...

LOL.My mom always says to clean as you go,which pretty much means clean things when you get them dirty.Noticing that id probably wouldn't ever do that she always said to make sure the bathrooms clean "because even if your whole house is spotless but your bathroom isn't they'll still think your gross" guess Mother dearest was she's always lol

Cindy Felts said...

Those are great tips right there! I agree with the last one. Just laugh it off when it fails. Haha! People aren't perfect, right? There are times that we do the cleaning ourselves, and there are times when we let the expert cleaners to the job for us. Ugh, especially those curtains! We would hire people to do on-the-spot dry cleaning for our curtains here in our house in Indianapolis. Of all things I don't like to do is having to deal with large cuts of fabric. Good thing that the cleaners are here.

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